Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Tennis [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 8, 2005
Homeless man misses Kournikova's house

Associated Press

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- A homeless man obsessed with tennis star Anna Kournikova swam naked across Biscayne Bay in search of her home and got caught lounging in the buff at her neighbor's pool, police said.

Police said William Lepeska screamed, "Anna! Save me!" as he was arrested Jan. 30 from the house three doors down from Kournikova's $5 million home. He faced a court appearance Friday.

Lepeska, 40, who has an "Anna" tattoo on his right biceps, was charged with stalking and burglary, as well as exposing himself in the presence of a child, after the neighbor's 3-year-old daughter saw him lying naked on a lawn chair by the pool.

Lepeska allegedly told police that he was in love with the tennis star and desperate to meet her.

"He thought he was at Anna Kournikova's home," Officer Dennis White wrote in a police report.

Angela Robertson, a Miami-Dade public defender representing Lepeska, did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday.

Ivy Mollenkamp, the tennis player's publicist, said in a statement that the arrest "has caused Anna to be very concerned and fearful for her safety." Kournikova was cooperating with prosecutors and "consulting with her personal security team," Mollenkamp added.

Police said Lepeska told them he spent several months searching for Kournikova's address on the Internet. He sent her numerous letters and e-mails, and he told police he believed Kournikova had left a door unlocked and laid out clothing for him as if she were expecting his arrival, police said.

Miami-Dade County Court Judge Gerald Klein issued a restraining order against Lepeska on Friday. Lepeska is being held in the county jail on a $26,000 bail.

Kournikova's attorneys, Dan Gelber and Steve Chaykin, did not immediately return phone messages Tuesday.